Toward the Unknown (1956)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  October 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 356 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 5 critic

At the dawn of supersonic flight in the 1950s a group of Edwards Air Force Base experimental aircraft test pilots push themselves to the limit.



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Complete credited cast:
Maj. Lincoln Bond
Brig. Gen. Bill Banner
Virginia Leith ...
Connie Mitchell
Col. 'Mickey' McKee
Maj. Bromo Lee
Lt. Gen. Bryan Shelby
Lt. Col. Joe Craven
2nd Lt. Sweeney
Polly Craven
Bartlett Robinson ...
Senator Black
Hank - Bell Technical Rep.
Ralph Moody ...
Harvey Gilbert
Maura Murphy ...
Sarah McKee
Carol Kelly ...


USAF Major Lincoln Bond is captured, tortured and released from a POW camp in Korea. After the war he returns to the US where he is re-assigned as a test pilot at the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base. The Air Force is testing the new experimental aircraft Gilbert XF-120 fighter. The acceptance of the new aircraft by the Air Force is dependent on successful tests designed to prove the aircraft's reliability and safety. However, when Major Bond flies the prototype he encounters a problem that points out a dangerous structural flaw. This could threaten the aircraft's acceptance by the Air Force and derail the whole project. Major Bond's commanding officer and some of his colleagues start to suspect that Major Bond is imagining things because of his mental condition dating back to his imprisonment and torture in the Korean POW camp. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ROCKET SHIP PILOTS, U.S.A.! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Drama | History | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Einst kommt die Stunde  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The farewell fly-by honoring Lloyd Nolan's character was led by "Pete" Everest (Frank Everest), accompanied by Iven Kincheloe, Lou Schalk, Stu Childs and Robert M. White. All were famous Edwards AFB test pilots. See more »


Early in the film when Bond observes General Banner crash his aircraft, it's referred to as an "F-102". In reality the hulk that Banner is pulled from is a Convair XF-92, the experimental predecessor to the F-102 Delta Dagger. See more »


Brig. Gen. Bill Banner: [to Maj. Lincoln Bond] Even with torture, you're not the kind to crack.
See more »


Referenced in The Story of Esther Costello (1957) See more »


The U.S. Air Force
by Robert Crawford
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Flying Sequences
1 May 2003 | by (SF BayArea) – See all my reviews

This movie is seldom shown, but it's one of William Holden's most underrated pictures. The flying sequences are excellent, and well integrated into the overall story (much more so than many other movies about flying/test pilots). Holden gives a fine performance as a former test pilot who cracked under torture as a North Korean prisoner, and is searching for redemption from his peers and from himself. Highly recommended if you like this sort of film.

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